Friday, August 21, 2015

Herb Moford: Original Conditional Met

Herb Moford was a pitcher in the fifties and 1962 in the majors, with several teams including the original Mets. As a matter of fact, he was in the first Met game that counted in 1962.

He first made the majors with the Browns in 1955, then had a nice season with Detroit in 1958, a short stay in Boston in 1959, then his Mets experience.

His Baseball Reference major league page has a couple of transaction anomalies on it:

 December 2, 1958: Traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox for Lou Berberet. 
 Before 1960 Season: Sent from the Boston Red Sox to the Baltimore Orioles in an unknown transaction. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.) 
 December 2, 1961: Purchased by the New York Mets from the Baltimore Orioles.

The 1960 transaction was a minor league deal. Moford had been optioned by the the Red Sox to Miami in 1959, Baltimore's minor league team.  The transaction itself came here, in this article from the January 13, 1960 Miami News...

“Recommendations by manager Paul Richards of the Baltimore Orioles played a major part in the Marlin’s purchase of pitcher Herb Moford yesterday.
Moford, who compiles a 7-7 record for the Marlins last year, had been with the Miami club on option from the Boston red Sox.
To get Moford Miami sent outfielder Joe Durham to Vancouver, Vancouver sent pitcher Erv Palica to Minneapolis (a Boston farm) and the Marlins paid $15,000 to Minneapolis to complete the deal.”

Durham's move was between two Oriole AAA teams. Palica's Baseball Reference major league page has him being released by the Orioles in 1957, but that now doesn't seem quite right. I'll look more into Palica's career later.

Moford stays in the O's organization through 1963, with that stop in New York for the Mets. In fact, he went right back to Rochester after his Mets stint.  The Warren County Observer for May 7, 1962 had an article that explains things:

“In order to make room for the new Miller, the Mets returned pitcher Herb Moford, purchased conditionally, to Rochester of the International League.”

The new Miller being the second Bob Miller on the Mets. The important part of that line is the word CONDITIONALLY. That would change the Dec. 1961 transaction to a conditional purchase with Moford being returned in May 1962.

Lots more in the queue! Thank you for reading and please share among other baseball nuts.


 Herb pic lifted from

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